E-Contract With America

May 15, 2000

Remember the "Contract With America"? Republicans won control of the Congress with that pledge and then used it as a game plan in the first 100 days. Now the Republican leadership has proposed what could be called the "E-Contract With America." Taking a page from former Speaker Newt Gingrich's play book, they detail a high tech vision in their "E-Contract 2000."

This E-Contract calls for such things as increasing "digital opportunities" by providing access to technology for poor people, new laws governing "cybersecurity" and new benefits for telecommuters. The Republicans also pledge to cut taxes to promote investment and research and development. They also pledge to prevent frivious lawsuits and protect intellectual-property rights.

The E-Contract has been unveiled in the midst of other high tech political proposals not the least of which is a five-year extension of the e-commerce tax moratorium. Other votes include an end to the three-cent telephone excise tax and a permanent ban on taxing Internet access.

Will the E-Contract have an effect on the elections? Frankly it's too early to tell. The original Contract With America probably made the difference in a number of key congressional elections. Many of the E-Contract proposals are more esoteric, but they could win the hearts and votes of those who are cyber-savy. And the Republican proposals do help mute the Democratic proposals in the recently unveiled E-Agenda.

The unveiling of these various high tech proposals once again reminds us we live in the information age. E-commerce is big business, and the high tech industry has a lot of influence on Congress and the political process. But these E-Contract proposals are also good policy. More and more Americans are going online and will benefit from this new agenda.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.